Michael Moore Hates America

Highly Recommended. This movie is not a political diatribe. It does not defend either Left or Right, it does not express Democratic or Republican politics, it merely asks the questions, “Is Michael Moore a truthful documentarian?” and “Is America they way Michael Moore portrays it?” A resounding double NO is the answer. Filmmaker Michael Wilson starts his journey trying to get an interview with Michael Moore, something he cannot do the entire film. What a tragic irony showing the hypocrisy of a man who attempts to ambush others to make them look foolish, only to be unwilling to do for others what he wants others to do for him. Wlison explores how editing “creates news” that isn’t there. He interviews people in Flint Michigan who Michael Moore sidestepped in his attempt to portray the town as destroyed while pinning the blame on GM’s CEO Roger Smith. These people are happy, starting their own businesses and doing well. Housing tracts have new homes rebuilt where Moore showed destruction. Sure, it’s not all pretty roses, but Wilson shows how you can turn the camera to show a tract of demolished houses to make it look like the town is in dire straits, but if you turn the camera across the street, you see new tract houses being built showing growth and change. The camera does lie my friends. Or rather, in the phrase of another famous saying, “Cameras don’t lie, people with cameras lie.” And then Michael Moore treats Wilson exactly as Roger Smith treated Moore in his avoidance of being interviewed. And to top it all off, turns out Moore didn’t even live in Flint as he portrayed himself, he lived in a nearby middle class suburb! Moore the crusading communist is actually a cryptocapitalist (aren’t they all?). He makes millions and millions of dollars in a free market economy on deals with the very greedy corporate capitalists he claims to despise. When will the hypocrisy stop? Ironically, Wilson, discovers Moore’s secret lied-about home town by lying to an interviewee about his true intentions in the filming, something Moore does throughout his own filmmaking. A powerful moral twist is that Wilson is challenged by his producer, repents and apologizes to the interviewee for lying. This repentance and humility is something so alien, so foreign to Moore in his conspiracy theorizing that I would expect it would go right over his head. Yet, this is the true heart of the film. In dealing with moral compromise we see the true insidiousness of the “ends justify the means” ethic. And Wilson even confesses his own tendency to be affected by it. Now there’s objectivity and honesty in reporting. Particularly disturbing and moving is a sequence where Wilson interviews the soldier that Moore exploits in Fahrenheit 911 who lost his arms. Turns out the soldier agrees with war on Iraq. Turns out he is angry that Moore used him without permission to promote a false idea. How heartwrenching to see this soldier who accepted being in harm’s way in support of his country and freedom being exploited by the very communist (Moore) who claims to be championing the cause of the proletariat. Of course, this is nothing new with communists. They did this in the Soviet Union as well, exploit the workers in the name of a revolution of the worker. Why? Because the ends justifies the means to these people. It doesn’t matter to people like Michael Moore that he knowingly lies if he is in the service of a “higher good” of his own theory. Unfortunately, one of the best interviewees in the film is Penn Jillette, who is also very profane, using the F-word every other word, making this an R-rated movie that will sadly restrict its distribution and ultimate audience numbers.

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